Very Good Dogs of the World 7: Got to see this little wigglebutt for the first time in ages today. She was so excited she loudly squeaked all her toys throughout my efforts to tell the parents about India, then stole my socks. 100/10 missed you, Pepper.
Now I'm back home I'd like to share something amazing from before my trip. This and the following images which I'll post later were shot and edited by the amazing @malimoria who helped me realise the witchy Kate Bush-at-the-Batcave vibe I've long hoped to create. Enjoy!
Kathakali is a traditional expressive theatre art in Kerala. Actors don't speak; their motives, the story, conversations are all conveyed through precise gestures and facial expressions (imagine a play conducted entirely in sign language) , with a narrator singing to the sound of drums, cymbals and a harmonium. The makeup indicates the kind of character being portrayed: green is a hero, yellow for women (actors are all male, like in Shakespearean times) , red for evil and black for demons; we also see a golden swan here with his own special makeup and a beak which actually moved. Full plays are hours long, last night we attended a short demonstration of the principles behind kathakali and two scenes from a famous story in which the King attempts to catch a swan who promises to take a message to the Princess he loves if he agrees to let him free. The full story after these two scenes can take six hours: kathakali is a big event.
As you can see the costuming is exquisite. Actors, singers and musicians train for six years minimum to perform and perfect their complex art.
This morning's breakfast which I couldn't stop eating and Rema kept adding to (she was very pleased to find a fan of her kitchen's offeings) . The leaf at the top is 'ada', which is rice flour paste, grated coconut, sugar and cardamom and is amazing, you open the leaf and roll the filling off to eat it. As you can see I had quite a few of these. Also shown: mint and yoghurt, apple slices, curried chickpeas and rice noodles. There were also uttapam, a sort of rice pancake. I am so very full.
Very Good Dogs of the World 6: Kekada. When you're halfway up one of the Western Ghat mountains and suddenly meet this dude, you can do nothing but give him honorary dog status for his adorable adventurousness. 20/10 very ambitious boy.